CNHI News Service

Sports

December 31, 2012

Playoff berth marks dramatic turnaround for Colts

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indianapolis Colts' season is a story of an unlikely turnaround and a new coach's battle against cancer.

As inspiring as the tale of 2012 may be, the Colts say an important chapter is still unfinished.

“The story has yet to be written," said rookie tight end Coby Fleener. "Ultimately, it’s what we do in the playoffs that means something. Getting there is one thing, winning games there is another.”

The Colts go to Baltimore in the first round of the playoffs next weekend to play a team head coach Chuck Pagano knows well.

Pagano spent the past four years as a defensive coach for the Ravens.

“It’ll be a great challenge," he said. "They’ve got a great team, and they’ve got great players all over the place."

The Ravens rested several starters Sunday and lost 23-17 in the season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals. Baltimore (10-6) won the AFC North division title but has lost four of its last five contests.

Indianapolis (11-5), meanwhile, has won nine of 11 en route to a wildcard berth. The team enters the postseason with serious momentum.

Sunday’s 28-16 upset against the Houston Texans likely raised the Colts’ profile across the league, even if it did little to change attitudes inside the locker room.

“As a team, we’ve been confident in ourselves all year,” said quarterback Andrew Luck. “… (I)t’s always been a very confident locker room, so it is nice to get a win before the playoffs and have a little mojo going in.”

Luck is among a host of rookies who will be making their first playoff appearance next weekend. He said the youngsters will rely on veterans such as Robert Mathis, Reggie Wayne and Dwight Freeney, who have spent much of their careers on playoff teams.

Text Only
Sports
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Basketball stars may linger on campus a while longer

    The NBA seems serious about raising its minimum age, which could signal the end of the one-and-done era in college basketball.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • mfp Hoffner's return 1.jpg Players relent, agree to play for reinstated football coach

    The boycott lasted one day, but the players who refused to practice for the college football coach from Minnesota who was reinstated to the job recently after a 20-month absence said they got their point across: better communication and a continuing significant role for their interim head coach who led the team to one of its best seasons ever in 2013.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Golf turns into snooze-fest without celebrities like Tiger and Phil

    The Masters lumbered on last week without two of pro golf's biggest names, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, and fans changed the channel. The PGA needs someone with star power if it's going to lure people back to the game.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • mfp Hoffner's return 1.jpg Players protest return of fired Minnesota coach

    The University of Minnesota-Mankato football refused to practice Wednesday afternoon, boycotting the return of Todd Hoffner as head foot ball coach. Players said in a prepared statement that they preferred interim coach Aaron Keen, who led the team to an 11-1 record last season and the second round of the NCAA Division II tournament.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Wildcats aren't champs but we're all still watching Calipari

    Kentucky coach John Calipari is a college basketball phenom for his ability to knit together championship-caliber teams of freshmen. How long will Calipari's success last as other coaches catch on?

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Too much of a good thing at UConn?

    The Connecticut Huskies dominate women's college basketball - which makes for a boring game.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 5.06.43 PM.png Spartans mourn passing of 'Princess Lacey'

    Lacey Holsworth, the 8-year-old cancer patient from Michigan who befriended Michigan State forward Adreian Payne and established a bond with his teammates before and during the Spartans’ run to the Elite Eight, died at her home late Tuesday night, her family said.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Taking someone out to the ballgame gets expensive

    Families in big-league cities like Boston and New York pay steep prices to catch a baseball game. It's not so expensive everywhere - especially if you're frugal.
     

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • hank_aaron_display_image.jpg VIDEO: Aaron's historic homer

    On the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th career home run, take a look at the historic moment as it happened.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg As Final Four tips off, all eyes are on the refs

    Whistles have changed the course of the NCAA tournament. Let's just hope one doesn't decide college basketball's next national champion.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

News

Features

Opinion